Monday, September 28, 2009

More thankfulness

Remember that cool guy I posted about last week? The one that had the birthday? Yeah, well, he continues to amaze me. On Saturday, when I spent the entire day in the hospital with my dad, he somehow managed to lead the troops through chores and through meals (which were not planned in advance for him) and the house was amazingly clean & organized when I got home. I know the girls all stepped up to do their part, but Ed governed it all and I was so grateful. Then he even helped me bake his birthday pie for Sunday's family lunch. I sure am glad I snatched him up way back when...I might have to blog more on that later this week.

Ever so thankful

This weekend was an emotional roller coaster. I had a lovely breakfast with friends on Saturday morning and went to work in the GEMS house and at church to get ready for our first real meeting, which is tonight. My phone's battery was dead, so I plugged it in in the van. I went about doing my thing at church and was delayed a little talking to a fellow from church about some struggles we are having with the use of the GEMS house.

I loaded some things into my van and locked up the GEMS house, but was planning to do a few more things around church and then a bunch of errands when I noticed that my cell phone said "12 missed calls"! I was just a tad freaked out by that, as you can imagine. It was Ed's cell that had called, so I knew instantly that something was wrong. I called back and after making sure that I wasn't driving, Ed finally told me that my mom had called and my dad had fallen from the roof of their house and could I please come to the hospital. My mom did think he would be OK since he could move all his limbs, but we just really had no idea at that point.

I drove to the hospital, desperately trying to reach my brothers and finally got a hold of my poor sister-in-law. I was probably hysterical, I don't remember, but the baby was crying and she was trying to give the phone to my brother. Sorry to freak you out, Susanne. Anyway, Mike was the voice of reason, telling me that I couldn't help Dad medically and that I just needed to follow the car in front of me. Good. That was good. I could do that.

I finally reached my other brother who gave me advice on what to do and where to go when I got to the hospital. So I am thankful today for my brothers and their calm heads.

When I got to the hospital, I ran into the ER and a medic asked if he could help me. I said, "I'm looking for my dad." He said, "Are you Julie?" Wow - yes! He told me he had taken my dad in and that my dad had been asking for me and for my mom in the ambulance. He told me Dad was probably going to be OK but that he was going in for a CT scan right then. He brought me right to my mom just as they were wheeling my dad in for the scan. So today I am also thankful for medics.

Dad was really confused for quite a while, due to the concussion, and we were all very scared until all the CT scans came back good. We were so thankful that nothing was broken and gradually over the course of the day my dad started to remember the things we told him, though he now remembers very little about what happened on that day.

He had a huge gash on the back of his head and bruised elbows and a bruised tailbone, because that's how he landed. He got staples in the back of his head and was kept overnight for observation. At that point we still didn't know why or how he fell off the roof, but my mom said that when she got to him, the first thing he said was that the ladder slipped, and that was before he started getting confused. When he fell, the neighbor lady heard him fall and holler and immediately ran over and was there for just a minute before my mom heard him holler and she got to him. He never lost consciousness. The neighbor lady turned out to be a nurse, so was giving mom his vitals while she was on the phone with 911. We are so thankful for her.

When my dad was finally released on Sunday morning, he and Mom came straight to our house so that we could watch my nephew's baptism in California via live webcast. That was so awesome. It was a privilege to watch and emotional, given the circumstances of the weekend. But today we are thankful for the miracle of a baby and for the internet!

When my parents got home on Sunday morning they discovered that the ladder had in fact malfunctioned and collapsed when my dad stepped down on it to come down off the roof. The gutter was bent, indicating that he had tried to grab the gutter on his way down, so that likely slowed his fall some. He landed on the trex deck, not the cement, which cushioned his fall. We are so thankful for all those little miracles that saved him from far more severe injuries.

We enjoyed a hearty meal at lunchtime with my parents and my grandma and we gave thanks that we were all safe inside our home and not in a hospital room. The rest of Sunday the girls played and I rested. So I thankful for a day of rest!

May I never forget to be thankful for every day that I am able to walk around and care for my family with a clear mind and healthy body.

Friday, September 25, 2009

More birthday stuff plus jabbering from a proud mom

We went out for dinner on Wednesday night for Ed’s birthday. That’s our family tradition…I don’t cook on birthdays. ;) When I asked Ed where he wanted to go for dinner he said, “I want to go to that Mexican place in Nooksack with Melissa.”

(Insert silence as I process what he said.)


“Okay. Uh. Have a good time?”

“No, I mean, all of us go to that place with Todd & Melissa.” Better, but still…a strange request. It’s usually just our family on birthdays, so this is a new one. Todd & Melissa are great friends, don’t get me wrong, this was just very out-of-the-ordinary.

“Okay. Uh. Why?”

“Because the people at the Mexican place know Melissa and bring her the spicy stuff and I want the spicy stuff.”

Oooooohhh! I get it! Perfect!

_MG_2857 So thanks, Melissa, (& Todd, too) for joining us for Ed’s Mexican birthday dinner. He truly enjoyed the spicy jalepenos. (Melissa is holding one in the picture).

Yesterday was blue & white day at school – a spirit day to get the kids excited about the jog-a-thon, which was today. Sarah’s class won the spirit day contests for the 6th grade! Great job, everyone!


Today was jog-a-thon day. My girls have the running gene! Where they got it from, I’ll never know. I mean, they got it from their uncles…but who did they get it from? That’s where the line of the running gene gets a little...fuzzy and non-existent.

Anyhoo, this girl

_MG_2933 ran a whopping 4.125 miles! See the sweat? Some of it’s water that she just poured over her head, but some really is sweat. She works hard at everything she does.  Her PE teacher told me that she’s a true athlete. The kids had 45 minutes to run around the school track. Each lap was two legs; Sarah ran 32, but got an extra leg because we didn’t use the inside lanes, so running around on the outside gives you actually more mileage. So we have to pay her for 33 legs.

This girl was in the 2nd group of runners today:


This child, who two years ago couldn’t run across the length of the gym without collapsing in pain from Juvenile Arthritis, ran 24 (25 with the bonus) legs which equals over THREE miles! In FORTY-FIVE minutes. She’s not even six! My heart was exploding from joy and gratitude watching her run without pain. I’m guessing she’ll wake up stiff in the wee morning hours, but that is something we can deal with.

And this girl


ran 30 (31 with bonus) legs, which is 3.875 miles. And she did it with a smile on her face pretty much the whole time. Here she had stopped running and started walking so that she could check in with her friend. She has a tender heart, that one.

And poor me. I think I ran 8 laps. I didn’t run the whole time, of course. I just ran when the kids needed encouragement. But holy cow. Running is way harder than walking, (which is my regular form of exercise). And does the fact that both my lower back and my butt hurt mean that I’m getting…less young?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How do I love (& respect) thee? Let me count the ways…

In no particular order:
1. He loves me unconditionally.
2. He takes care of me, even when I’m having a pity-party.
3. He introduced me to salsa!
4. He’s a computer genius.
5. Tall, dark, and handsome. Need I say more?
6. He’s a solid Christian with more questions than answers.
7. He does the dishes. That should be enough right there, right?
8. He’s the best dad ever.
9. He holds his own in a sea of XX chromosomes.
10. He works hard.
11. He fixes anyone’s computer issues. Just ask him.
12. His laugh.
13. He makes me laugh.
14. He challenges me.
15. He genuinely loves to see my craft and scrapbook accomplishments.
16. He mows the lawn.
17. He doesn’t mind getting my ice cream or bringing ice water to my nightstand…every night.
18. He doesn’t think I’m terribly insane.
19. He loves my family, even when we act insane.
20. He doesn’t try to be forgetful. In fact he tries everything humanly possible to remember anything he can.
21. He loves his family.
22. He’s calm, especially when I’m not.
23. He’s sensible.
24. His goatee.
25. He says “Thank you for dinner” almost every night.
26. He freely admits his shortcomings.
27. He vacuums, mops, and cleans toilets whenever I ask. And he’s definitely better at vacuuming than I am, so I ask that a lot.
28. He treats the 5 girls in this house like queens and princesses.
29. He cleans up when the girls get sick.
30. Soft hands.
31. The only time he ever lied to his mother was when she asked him if I was pregnant and I was, but we weren’t telling yet.
32. He brought Thai food into our lives.
33. He supports the GEMS ministry in so many ways.
34. If he’s home when I get home from a Costco run, he unloads the van.
35. He’s him.
Love you, babe and Happy 35th birthday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Logos and Zondervan partnership

It's finally official! We are so excited that this is happening - it's going to be great for the companies and users alike.

Click here to read the Logos Blog article.

Congrats Logos and Zondervan on the beginning of a new ministry together!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

All kinds of crazy

I spent the entire morning on Friday at Sarah’s school in meetings for her 6th grade musical. It’s going to be great, but it’s also going to be cRaZY. I feel badly for the music teacher because I think only half of the parents of 6th graders signed up to volunteer and yet all the 6th graders are in the musical. I was assigned to all four volunteer spots that I said I was OK with – I’m guessing because she needed bodies. But, we’re ready to work on it like cRAzy for the next 8 weeks.

Sarah made us all crAZy opening her audition result letter:

Audition results In the end, she was pretty excited about the singing part she landed and I’m pretty sure she’s going to steal the show.

Remember those glasses of Sarah’s we ordered on Tuesday that were supposed to take one to two weeks to come back? Friday afternoon – got the call – the glasses are in! So, Sarah & I make a CrAzY trip to Bellingham on Saturday morning to pick up the glasses, then we run all over town looking for a “cute” case for them (finally found one at the Dollar Store. Yay!) and get back by lunch in order for Ed to go on his birthday hike.

Yep, Ed’s birthday is coming up. He’s going to be 35. I’ll blog more about him on his birthday, but let me just say…I sure hope he doesn’t have some kind of crAzY mid-life crisis now that he’s past his prime. ;)

Ed went on his hike on Saturday afternoon up Sumas Mountain with his friend & co-worker, Todd. I’m going to let Ed do a guest-post on my blog about that and post his own pictures. I don’t know what the pictures are and I think it’d be great to have a different voice on here.

Here’s the girl with her new spectacles:


and being CraZY:


I made this cute calendar. It doesn’t have anything to do with crAZy except that I ran out of magnets, so there’s no “18” and it’s weird I ran out of magnets since it was part of a kit and they usually have extra of everything in their kids and the “they” I am referring to is my very favorite store of all time, Treasury of Memories, and they just announced that they are closing, which is cRAzY since it’s such a popular place, and I am sooooo sad. Anyway, the calendar comes with all the month titles, so I can use it and change it out, etc. Pretty cute.


On any given sunny afternoon, these girls can be found in our backyard.

_MG_2807  They are just the sweetest. Often there’s 2 or 3 more around, too.

And here they are being CRAZY!


That’s the crAZinESs of our life in one small-ish blog post.


Praise the Lord! My cousin's daughter is doing well. She has some kind of an arthymia problem with her heart that appears to be uncommon, but treatable with medication. It may be a nuisance, but it shouldn't disrupt her life too much. In fact, her doctor said she could run in her cross country meet on Tuesday! Thank you so much for your prayers!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Good news and bad news

Sarah was given a solo/quartet singing part in her 6th grade musical. She is so excited and we are so proud of her. I had already found out from her music teacher ahead of time because she had asked me if I was still OK being an acting coach if Sarah didn't have a speaking part. The music teacher said, "I just really needed Sarah's beautiful voice in that quartet." When I told Sarah, she just beamed!

If you think of it, say a prayer for my cousins's 13-year-old daughter who was hospitalized yesterday with heart issues. We're very concerned and a little bit scared - her heart was racing and the medication wasn't bring it down to a normal rhythm, so the doctors even had to shock her heart a couple times. She's in the hospital hooked up to monitors and stuff, so she's safe now while the doctors try to figure out what's causing the abnormal rhythms. But we know that she is in God's hands and that He is the Great Physician and pray that He will give the doctors the wisdom to get her all back to her normal self.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It’s just all Random

My life. It’s just random.

A few days ago I finally got into the mood for fall and did some decorating.

_MG_2736On Tuesday after school I took Sarah (& the rest of the girls) & Sarah’s friend E to pick out Sarah’s glasses. Doesn’t she look just a little bit excited? ;)


I think she likes them. :) Which is good, because those frames were her second choice. Oh yes, this child has my genes and the genes of my mother. She fell in LoVe with the most expensive glasses in the store. Honestly. And then she says, only somewhat concerned, “Does price matter?” Ah, yeah. I mean, if we absolutely don’t find anything else, then maybe not, but let’s keep looking. So the pair you see above is the second choice, but it was $70 less, and even Sarah had to admit that the difference wasn’t worth $70. She’ll get the glasses back in a week or so.

And now for a little sneak peak for all those attending our church women’s retreat the first weekend in October – here’s what’s been consuming A LOT of my time and the time of the rest of the committee members:


But now they are done and we can move on to the next task on the list to get ready for the retreat! Hooray!

Today I learned that Mary Travers died. Who’s that? Here’s a few hints:

  • frolicked in the autumn mist
  • the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
  • I'm leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again

Beeeeeeeep. Time’s up! Mary Travers was Mary of “Peter, Paul, and Mary”. So, in honor of her and of all my childhood hours listening to Peter, Paul, & Mary on my dad’s reel-to-reel tapes, the girls & I listened to this today:


No, I don’t own it, but lets you listen to any song that has ever been recorded for free – once. Very cool. A couple days ago we listened to the “High School Musical Concert” on lala. My children are so cultured.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Audition Day

Sarah's got her auditions for her 6th grade musical today, finally! Say a prayer for her if you think of it. We get the cast list on Friday after school.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekend Whatnot

When I used to teach in MV, the weekly letter of announcements was called the “Wednesday Whatnot”…hence my blog post title.

As you may have noticed, I read a number of other blogs. My Litter of Six is mostly about couponing and sales and things like that. She’s funny and has great tips and occasionally has give-aways and I actually won something! It was so exciting because it’s totally something I’ll use with my girls club at church and fits perfectly with our theme for the year, too. Isn’t this stuff cute?


On the left is the clipboard, then a little post-it note holder, and then a covered composition journal. Our theme for our girls club is about prayer, so I think we’re for sure going to make the journals as prayer journals. I can use the others at girls club because I try to use all girly and pink and flowery stuff.

We noticed this week that the mountains we see as we drive around the county are BARE – the snow is as good as gone and the glaciers even seem to be minimal. Just goes to show how dry our spring was. We had to take pictures because I don’t remember ever seeing the mountains this bare.



Can I just say that I L.O.V.E. my zoom lens?

Today was “Lunch on the Lawn” at church. We like to celebrate the beginning of the “educational year” at our church. We have a special service with lots of kids songs and special prayers for all the teachers in all the different groups that are starting up and then we have a picnic together out on the lawn. It’s always pretty fun and in the 5 that we’ve attended since we moved here, there hasn’t been one that hasn’t been sunny & warm.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

I’m a domestic goddess and other happenings of our week

Remember this? First off, that dishwasher? Kaput. We went shopping on Labor Day for a new one. Got a great deal at Lowe’s. Then we took the girls to…

_MG_2579courtesy of Logos. Yep – that’s Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill. The lunch menu is completely different, but it was very yummy, and we didn’t even embarrass ourselves too much, except maybe if anyone was listening to our conversation, which centered around the differences between boy & girl bathrooms. Ahem. And then, I’m pretty sure I heard snickering from a table down the way when Elise pronounced, rather loudly, “I have to go potty really bad!”  It’s better than it used to be at least…we didn’t spill anything and no one had to be removed from the premises.

Tuesday was my scrapbooking day with my girl friends. Except I didn’t scrapbook. Because one of my good scrapbooking friends is also a master seamstress and I needed to make that fabric into something. (Go back to that previous blog post I linked to and scroll down and you can see the fabric.) I downloaded a free pillow pattern from the internet and Amy, bless her heart, walked me through sewing my pillows! And amazingly enough, I didn’t need quite as much help as I thought I would. The stitches held and I didn’t break the needle and for the most part I measured and cut correctly.


That’s the top up there.

And this here is the (almost) finished product!


Imagine! I used a machine to get flat fabric into a pillow! I AM a domestic goddess! I certainly didn’t inherit any sewing abilities, (oops, did I say that out loud?) and Amy (who truly is a domestic goddess) helped, but I did it! Plus, she left before both pillows were (almost) done and I managed to finish them on my own.  I keep saying (almost) because I still have to buy a button thing and cover it with fabric and sew it to the middle to make it more puffy, but that shouldn’t be too bad. I wonder when Amy can come over…

Oh, wait. I didn’t show the worst part of sewing.


Are you kidding? I have to iron the fabric? Ugh. Unlike some people, who shall at this point now become nameless, I do not find ironing satisfying. There’s something just a little wrong with that. Okay, I do have to admit that the measuring, cutting, and sewing was easier after I ironed the fabric, but to use the word satisfying to describe ironing is just a little nuts if you ask me.

So, what else…

IMG_2598 I came home from a meeting last night to find Ed cleaning the garage fridge. Thanks, dear!


This is how the girls entertained each other this morning while I did laundry. They had music blaring and brought all the kitchen toys into the kitchen. Makes sense, I guess. They were getting along great until Becca didn’t want to share something and so Elise said, “Fine! Be that way! I’m not gonna play with you any more!” and stomped off. I was trying so hard not to laugh and then she saw me trying not to laugh and she started to giggle, stopped, and said, with a big pout, “Mommy, Becca’s not sharing.” I hope she doesn’t try that at preschool tomorrow.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Momma’s New Room Rules

1. No talking. (Unless you’re adult and holding a cup with a hot beverage, preferably coffee.)

2. No toys.

3. No children. (Unless practicing beautiful music or spending quiet time with an adult.)






I think I might give myself a time-out right now, just so I can go sit in there and enjoy the quiet.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Preschooler and other pleasant stuff







and After:


Preschool plum tuckered that child out.

Here’s a picture of Susan the grasshopper…or is it Grass-y…or Tall-y…? The name keeps changing. _MG_2510-1


It’s here! But it’s not up & running yet. I don’t know what people do who don’t have a computer geek, oh, I mean genius, for a husband. I would never be able to get all the stuff from the broken laptop over to the new and pretty laptop without him. Poor guy, he’s been so crazy busy with the new product at work. Last night he was running back & forth between my laptop, his computer (beta testing) and doing all the garbage and recycling in the house. I don’t think he fully finished any one thing. He’s a guy you know, they don’t multi-task well. But, now he has a 3-day weekend so I know he’s hoping to finish my laptop and do all sorts of other wonderful things because that’s just the kind of guy he is.

Isn’t she pretty? I should name her don’t you think?


And we saw this bit of creation when we stepped outside this morning to take Elise’s first day of preschool pictures.


Now if that isn’t just awesome.

And I hate spiders. Like no one else. So, it must be even more awesome to people who can appreciate the benefit that those creatures give to God’s green earth.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Silly girls

Here I am, worrying and praying all day for Sarah at her auditions. She comes home and says, "Thanks for the note in my lunch, Mom, but I had a misunderstanding about auditions. They're NEXT Thursday." Great.

Becca caught a grasshopper. He's in the little terrarium we have outdoors for just such occasions as capturing God's creatures for (very) brief periods of time. The neighbor girl named the grasshopper. His name is Susan. Oh, how that made me laugh.

We found out today that our JCPenney bill was past due. That's funny, we didn't remember getting a bill. We check the account online. They have our correct phone number, but the address on file was our address from 15 years ago! No wonder we didn't get a bill. How weird is that? That was FOUR addresses ago, plus we've gotten plenty of bills at our current address. How does that happen? So I call. JCPenney is located in some foreign country, apparently. I quickly ascertain that the pleasant woman on the other end of the line is NOT going to understand what I am trying to say. I ask for a manager. I wait a LONG time. I get another non-English-speaking woman. I think it's the same woman trying to disguise her voice. She says, "This is your correct address, no?" I say that it is NOT our correct address. She says, "This phone number is not correct, yes?" I say the phone number is correct. Good grief. She says they will reverse the $30+ late fees and surcharges. That's good, since I'm pretty sure *I* didn't change my address on record back to where I lived 15 years ago.

This would be a good time for me to do a quick movie review. If you haven't seen "Outsourced", you should. Not a great movie, but interesting and funny. When you're watching, just pretend that those people all work for JCPenney.

Two Requests

Please pray for Sarah this morning as she is auditioning for her 6th grade musical today! Thank you!

If you are "aditya" who has been leaving comments, would you please leave a comment and tell me who you are and how you found my blog. Thank you so much for your compliments. I would love to know you. Thanks much!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Kindergartener

Today I sent Becca off to Kindergarten. I’ll admit it. I cried. Not in front of her, but it was tough holding it together. She was great, though. She’s always been pretty independent. As a baby, she wanted to be held so that she was upright and facing away from whoever was holding her. She wanted to see the world. Look at her now.



Ready to take on the world!

As a toddler and preschooler, she hated shoes. It still takes some serious searching to find shoes she’ll tolerate on her feet. These are the same shoes as last year, only brown instead of pink. Thank goodness for Payless!


Becca’s a real drama queen. I imagine her teacher will get to know that side of her eventually.


Her sisters begged for a photo with her on her first day of Kindergarten. They’ve always taken good care of their little sister.


And we had to do the 3 pairs of feet as well…


Preschool taught this child well. She knew just what to do when we got to her class. She hung up her stuff and sat down at a table to do one of the activities.


I told Becca she wasn’t allowed to go back to Kindergarten. Elise & I missed her too much. She didn’t go for that idea. ;)

I got to spend the day playing with Elise. I did not play right. She kept having to tell me how to do it. I apparently don’t know all the things Becca knows. I think Elise will be very glad to go to preschool on Friday. I hope I’m glad.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Very Busy Mother

One cool fall morning, the children went back to school. The mother drank a cup of coffee and  then began to work on her house. WHINE, said the 3-year-old! So the mother hugged and kissed and went back to her busy work of digging up potatoes._MG_2466

WHEN DO I GO TO SCHOOL, cried the 5-year-old! The mother promised that tomorrow, she too could go to school, helped the 5-year-old pick out her first day of Kindergarten clothes, and then went back to her busy work of making salsa (using homegrown tomatoes and jalepenos), marinating chicken, and baking zucchini bread.


HELP ME ON MY VIOLIN, fussed the 9-year-old! So the mother coached and taught and practiced and then went back to the busy work of sorting all the clothes in the entire house.


PLAY THE PIANO WITH ME, complained the 11-year-old! So the mother played the top part of the piano duet and counted out loud, and then continued to busily work on sorting the clothes.


HELP ME ORGANIZE MY LIFE, begged the husband. So the wife added items to the to-do-list and the calendar for her husband’s new iphone calendar, and then went back to the busy work of washing sheets and making the bed.


CUDDLE WITH US BEFORE BED AND TUCK US IN, cried the children. The mother helped them get their jammies on, helped them brush their teeth, helped them set out their clothes for tomorrow, and cuddled on the couch before bed, just like that. It had been a very, very busy day.